Sandalwood
The film opened to high expectations and has lived up to it.
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Natasaarvabhowma is the first biggest release of this year and Power Star Puneeth Rajkumar’s fans have more than one reason to celebrate. The trailer of the film, carefully crafted with minimal dialogue, had only hinted about the supernatural element, leaving his fans waiting for more.

This was the first time that Puneeth had signed a film of the horror genre and his fans were eager to see his performance on the big screen. The houseful early morning shows are a testament for that. Puneeth collaborating with hit filmmaker Pawan Wadeyar, after their previous venture Ranavikarama, had doubled the expectations from Natasaarvabhowma.

The plotline begins with an interesting angle. Gagan Dixit (Puneeth Rajkumar) is an investigative journalist from Kolkata working for a daily newspaper. He comes to Bengaluru looking for a friend but settles in a haunted house, owned by Sadhu Kokila, with his director friend Keshava (Chikkanna). His first biggest expose not only makes his channel the number one in the industry but also the biggest enemy of union minister Ghanashyam Yadav (Ravishankar). However, circumstances bring the two of them together and Gagan ends up experiencing the supernatural. 

The plot has several sub-plots leading to an interesting and unexpected climax. Puneeth’s mass entry and mass song – the two biggest elements in a commercial film – live up to the expectations. His signature dance steps and histrionics render the songs a feast to the eyes. Dance numbers in Puneeth’s movie are the biggest draw and Natasaarvahbhowma does not disappoint.

The action scenes are well choreographed adding punch to the action thriller. The superstar’s screen presence is the biggest highlight of the film and he carries the movie on his shoulders. The actor comes out looking perfect in dance, fights and sentimental sequences.

Rachita Ram, who plays the manager of a telecom company, has done justice to the role. Anupama Parameswaran, who plays a junior lawyer, has a brief role and her performance is praise-worthy. Comedians Chikkanna and Sadhu Kokila get good screen space and manage to make the audience laugh. Ravishankar, whose character resembles politician Shashi Tharoor, plays villain role with ease. Achyut Kumar as guruji is a treat to watch. The supporting star cast has complemented Puneeth's performance to make the plot stronger.

The title of the film is one of the biggest giveaways. Half-way into the film, you know why the movie is titled Natasaarvabhowma (The ultimate actor). Incidentally, this was the title bestowed upon Puneeth’s father, the legendary Kannada matinee idol late Dr. Rajkumar. D Imman’s music is good but the background score could have been better. The title song is filled with energy and Puneeth’s dance steps will give any accomplished dancer a run for their money! The 'Yaaro Naanu' duet song has excellent choreography. The filmmakers have spent a lot on creating impressive sets for the songs. While 'Taaja Samachara' captures the beauty of Kolkata, 'Open the Bottle', announced as the party anthem of the year, is electrifying and is likely to remain among the top 10 of 2019.

The filmmaker has made sure that every character appearing on screen heaps praises on the lead actor by calling him Natasaarvabhowma, Dodmane Hudga, Raajakumara, (titles of Puneeth’s movies), Kannadada Kanda and more. A movie tailor-made for Puneeth’s fans and is paisa-vasool throughout!

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.